Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
With my first child, I was desperate for any sign of progression by the time I had hit 36 weeks. I wasn’t overly uncomfortable, I was just excited to meet my first baby! So when they asked if I wanted to do weekly cervix checks, I readily agreed.
Hold up: What’s a cervix check? I’m so glad you asked.
For those that have never enjoyed (or suffered) through pregnancy, your cervix is what keeps your uterus and growing baby from falling out. That’s a bit dramatic, but it gets my point across. It stays high and hard throughout your pregnancy, and then as you get closer to delivery, your cervix starts to drop and soften. Ideally.
So, the cervix check is an attempt by an OB or midwife to see if you’re progressing at all. Your cervix will start to thin to let the baby through, and the end goal is ten centimeters dilated for the final hoorah.
Unfortunately, it’s all a load of crap.
Many OBs and midwifes won’t do them unless you specifically ask, because it doesn’t mean a thing. Some women walk around at 2 centimeters dilated for weeks before they actually go into labor. Other women won’t be dilated at all and swing into labor the next day.
Your cervix is not a magic 8 ball. Women have stalled at 5 centimeters dilated and needed an induction or c-section to successfully deliver their child. It’s nice to know in some circumstances if you’re dilated, like if you’re 20 weeks instead of 30. But in the last month of pregnancy, it’s not going to do you much good.
With my first, I was so irritated that week after week, I let an OB stick their hands up my already sore vagina only to tell me that I was still very pregnant. I decided not to waste my time, and I was right in my assumptions that my body just isn’t ready yet.
So here I am. 39 weeks pregnant and maybe a fingertip dilated. This is my second, and I only just got my first cervix check out of mild curiosity. Luckily, I’m not nearly as disappointed with the news as I was with my first. I was a centimeter dilated with my daughter up until my induction, and it’s looking like we are going down the same road with this next stubborn child.
They always say children will come when they’re ready, but eventually they’ll be forced out regardless, right? I’m hoping I don’t have to force this one out, and I do still have time. Despite not being dilated, I could go into labor tonight!
Still, though. It could happen. I’ll wait patiently for my next baby and be induced if I have to. Until then, you’ll see me waddling around trying to get labor started naturally.